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[ zoh-oid ] [ ˈzoʊ ɔɪd ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


any organic body or cell capable of spontaneous movement and of an existence more or less apart from or independent of the parent organism.

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More about zooid

Zooid “any organic body capable of independent existence” is a compound of two combining forms: zo- and -oid. While -oid comes from the Ancient Greek element -oeidēs, meaning “having the form of,” the stem zo- (also zoo-) comes from Ancient Greek zôion “animal.” Other common words containing this stem are zodiac (literally meaning “animal sign”), Protozoa (“first animals”), and zoology (“animal study”)—and, of course, zoo. A related word in Ancient Greek is zōḗ “life,” which is the source of the name Zoe. Zooid was first recorded in English in the early 1850s.

how is zooid used?

While they are called “sea pickles” based on their looks, the animals are actually a pyrosome. It is a “colony” of multi-celled organisms called zooids, meaning individual zooids will be tightly packed together to form a bigger version of themselves .… A single zooid is about the size of a grain of rice, but conjoined together, these colonies can make the creature about 60 feet long and wide enough for a human to fit in, according to Oceana, a non-profit ocean conservation organization.

Jordan Mendoza, “A ‘sea pickle’? An animal that can grow to 60 feet long is washing up on the Oregon coast,” USA Today, February 1, 2022

The zooid building-blocks of a siphonophore colony are not all the same despite sharing the same DNA. Each zooid has a specific role in the colony; there are those that just swim, others that eat, some that sting, to name an important few …. While the pattern of zooids is the same between members of the same siphonophore species, the order differs between species. Piece by piece, these zooids make up what may be the longest animal on our planet.

Liz Allen, “This May Be The Longest Animal On Earth-And You’ve Probably Never Heard Of It,” Forbes, April 18, 2020
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[ chuh-ras-koh ] [ tʃəˈræs koʊ ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


meat cooked over an open fire.

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More about churrasco

Churrasco “meat cooked over an open fire” is a loanword from Brazilian Portuguese and, beforehand, from the varieties of Latin American Spanish spoken in Argentina and Uruguay. The term appears to be related to or even derived from Spanish chamuscar “to scorch, singe,” churruscar “to begin to burn,” and/or socarrar “to scorch, singe,” but the connections are unclear. Chamuscar is a borrowing from Portuguese and may be distantly related to Latin flamma “flame” (compare Portuguese chama) or ustus “burnt” (compare English combustion). Churruscar and socarrar may be of pre-Roman origin, but alternative theories claim that churruscar is simply an imitation of the sound of grilling or roasting, while socarrar is connected to Basque (Euskera) words related to fire, such as su “fire” and gar (or karra) “flame.” Churrasco was first recorded in English in the late 1910s.

how is churrasco used?

Realizing that there was no convenient alternative for doing churrasco cooking at home, [chef Blake Carson] invented one. “The vast majority of Brazilians barbecue this way, but it is usually by manually rotating the skewers. Very wealthy people might have a built-in permanent motorized setup, like in the restaurants, but they don’t have a portable alternative. It’s an entirely new concept.”

Larry Olmsted, “The Coolest BBQ Grill Ever–Really,” Forbes, June 28, 2012

Barbecuing is a quintessentially South American cooking method and most countries have their own traditional grilling style. Brazil, for instance, has the churrasco, which produces kebabs of multiple kinds of meat that restaurants will continue to serve you until you beg them to stop. The Argentinean asado is a long process, during which a huge fire is allowed to smoulder down to embers.

Lucy Waverman, “Recipe: Chilean slow barbecued pork ribs with Chilean salad,” Globe and Mail, July 10, 2015
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[ sig-nit ] [ ˈsɪg nɪt ] Show IPA Phonetic Respelling


a young swan.

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More about cygnet

Cygnet “a young swan” was spelled during the Middle English period as signet but is based on Latin cygnus “swan,” plus the French suffix -et “little, small” (as in owlet “little owl” and tablet “little table”). This habit of changing the spelling of words to reflect their origins, also called restored spelling, is hardly limited to cygnet; take a gander at arctic, asthma, debt, homily, horizon, receipt, and symptom, which were respectively spelled in Middle or Early Modern English as artik, asma, dette, omelie, orizonte, receite, and sinthoma but changed to reflect their earlier forms in Latin or Ancient Greek. Despite the spelling of cygnet as signet in Middle English, cygnet is not related to the modern English word signet “a small seal, as on a finger ring,” which is a compound of sign and the suffix -et. Cygnet was first recorded in English in the early 15th century.

how is cygnet used?

The plan was to raise the wild cygnets at captive ponds and then release them in the Hayden Valley come fall …. Over the years most of the cygnets haven’t been released in Yellowstone park itself, but rather along the fringes of a tristate trumpeter swan population that covers much of the larger ecosystem.

Mike Koshmrl, “Biologists intervene to keep swans alive in Yellowstone,” AP News, July 25, 2018

Today, juvenile swans—cygnets—are counted, weighed, checked for injury or illness and then released …. A sudden die-off in the 1980s was attributed to swans swallowing lead fishing weights. Numbers bounced back after they were banned.

Corinne Purtill, “Queen owns all of the U.K.'s swans. Every year, she counts them,” USA Today, July 22, 2015
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